Some of the top baseball players in the state resided in the Cedar Valley this summer and the 17-man all-metro baseball team highlights those individuals.
Cedar Falls, who fell one game short of a return-trip to the state tournament, leads the way with six honorees.
Tiger lead-off hitter Ben Phillips, a junior, scored 46 runs while producing a .522 OBP. Connor Woods, headed to Iowa to play next spring, hit six home runs and led the team with 33 RBIs.
Zach Neese and Brayden Smith were a strong 1-2 punch for the Tigers on the mound. Neese struck out 56 in 49 innings while winning five games. Smith logged 59 2/3 innings and won six games.
Junior shortstop Caleb Raisty and senior catcher Gage Flanscha both had OBP’s better than .440.
Leading the Columbus five-man contingent is junior Carter Gallagher. Gallagher batted .529 with a .624 on-base percentage while hammering 26 extra base hits, including 20 doubles. He drove in 49 runs.
Alex Feldmann scored a team-best 39 runs while batting .475.
Nick Merrifield went 7-3 on the mound as a freshman. Josh Merrifield was 4-4 pitching while throwing a team-high 55 2/3 innings. Patrick Steele batted better than .300.
East sophomore Justin Thomas led the Trojans in innings pitched and drove in a team-best 17 runs.
Junior Caleb Spooner contributed both at the plate (.277 batting average) and on the mound.
West’s Mitch Fordyce led the Wahawks with a .453 batting average while he socked seven home runs and drove in 37. Colby Adams scored 33 times while batting .400 from his lead-off spot.
Sam Moore also carried a heavy bat for West with a .362 average and 26 RBIs. Carter Schulte rounds out the Wahawks’ contingent as he contributed at the plate and on the mound.
The team was selected by metro baseball coaches Nate Lamphier of West, Brett Williams of Cedar Falls, Eric Jesse of East and Columbus Catholic assistant Bob Etringer.